Behind the Scenes: Castings
What’s a casting?
Sure, you’ve probably heard about castings from America’s Next Top Model, or some other reality T.V. show where the models run around searching for their locations like a scavenger hunt. But is it really like that? and what is a casting?
A casting, or a “go-see” is a big part of a model’s career, especially when they’re first starting out. Castings are job opportunities where the model goes to meet a client (usually a designer or casting director) in person. It’s like having interviews every day! (which is something that I’m thankful for, because at this point interviews are things that I’m very comfortable with). Later on in a model’s career, clients and brands can direct book a model, but for the most part, castings are crucial. Today’s world is changing rapidly however and oddly enough, I have booked a few jobs simply through social media (Instagram). Social media has made it possible for models to brand themselves & show their personality to potential clients without having to meet them in person. I love this.
On the days that I DO have to go to castings, this is usually how it goes (P.S. I’ve documented my castings for the past week. Keep reading to check out some photos!):
-I’ll receive an email from my agent(s) informing me of the client, location, and call time (this is the time that I am supposed to meet the client. Sometimes it’s pretty open, say 10 AM-4PM)
-I’ll research quickly on my phone the client/brand, so that I can dress accordingly or prepare myself to be able to carry on a conversation (who knows! Better to be knowledgeable than say shyly “oh..yea! yeah! totally”)
-If this casting was sent to me last minute, I pray that I am already dressed on par. If not, I have a rush of anxiety but it’s usually OK because typically I will never leave the house in sweatpants or something like that…the main scare is if my hair is OK. But if not, no fear! The bun is to the rescue! (they can see my face better that way anyway, right?)
-I type the address into Waze (an app that I semi-trust. It’s a love-hate relationship) and off I go. The scavenger hunt begins! These days the travel is easy. I used to rush and panic, thinking ‘oh my gosh I have no idea where I’m going and I’m so nervous/excited to meet this person!’. Yeah, I’m just not excited anymore! Everyone I meet is so boring. Ugh. (HAHA! Just kidding, I’m trying to me funny). What I mean to say is that these days It’s a little bit more fun- after years of castings, I know the roads. I know most of the brands and casting directors (though certainly not all), and if you see me driving in my Prius, you’ll see that the car and I are in sync. We are both slowly cruisin’, as calm as can be and I probably have a super-relaxed bored face. It’s delightful! And when it’s time to park, you hope that there’s a parking spot open & that it hasn’t got some weird sign with 100 requirements “ONLY parking on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday” “NO STOPPING unless Tuesday morning” “Permits required” etc. LA is crazy with parking!
– I arrive to the casting location. Sometimes it’s in really nice areas of LA, but most of the time it certainly isn’t. Often castings will be held in big headquarter buildings, homes, or small random rooms in sketchy neighborhoods. Sometimes you have to walk around for a minute or go through a maze to find the right place. I’m not trying to complain though because in reality, these castings have allowed me to stumble upon some of the most beautiful secret places & people in LA. It’s also fun to see the behind-the-scenes of some of these big businesses, and what their factories look like. Often times there will also be paper signs directing the models to the particular room (which makes me feel dumb? I like using my brain and figuring things out on my own. However, these buildings can be huge mazes, so it makes sense. It’s logical).
– I walk into the casting. If it’s a “cattle-call” (you pray that it isn’t/ AKA the worst), be prepared to be surrounded by other models for at least a good hour (this is like a nightmare to me). Cattle call is a term given to a casting that has hundreds of models going through it. There’s usually a long line, which also means that your chances of getting the job are much more slim. I don’t like these castings for that reason, but mostly because I can’t stand being around so many models at once. (too. many. egos.)
– I’ll show the client my portfolio (which I have on my iPad or iPhone) and then give them my card (which is a comp card that has my measurements, photos & my agency’s contact info). We’ll talk and then usually the client will ask me to try on some clothes (if the casting is for a clothing brand). An assistant will typically take a few photos, and that’s it! (usually). Now there are down to earth castings that are easy and breezy, and then there are also castings where I’ll walk into a room with 10 people staring at me coldly, without saying a word. Then, there are teams from other countries that CAN’T say a word. Overall, it’s fun to meet new people & see new places.
-Then i’ll go home & make lettuce wraps or cuddle with my sweet sweet boyfriend. (…and then get back to reality and work on posts, homework or my fitness).